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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I have been married to a French woman for 2 years and we are planning on moving to France in December. I have an interview on the 24th of November for a spousal long-term visa. I have a few questions...whilst in California, I was caught with less than an ounce of marijuana. So now I have a light misdemeanor on my record. Does anyone KNOW if and how this will affect my visa chances? Also, assuming all goes well, how long does it go from interview to visa in hand? Thanks a lot.

Cheers

Texas
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
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Hello. I have been married to a French woman for 2 years and we are planning on moving to France in December. I have an interview on the 24th of November for a spousal long-term visa. I have a few questions...whilst in California, I was caught with less than an ounce of marijuana. So now I have a light misdemeanor on my record. Does anyone KNOW if and how this will affect my visa chances? Also, assuming all goes well, how long does it go from interview to visa in hand? Thanks a lot.

Cheers

Texas
 

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Hello. I have been married to a French woman for 2 years and we are planning on moving to France in December. I have an interview on the 24th of November for a spousal long-term visa. I have a few questions...whilst in California, I was caught with less than an ounce of marijuana. So now I have a light misdemeanor on my record. Does anyone KNOW if and how this will affect my visa chances? Also, assuming all goes well, how long does it go from interview to visa in hand? Thanks a lot.

Cheers

Texas
That's an interesting dilemma. Unfortunately, I have no idea if it will affect or not. It is not like you assaulted anyone or stole property. I would imagine felonies are definitely an issue. I would also imagine that from the perspective of immigration authorities, so long as you are not a threat to the French and you have a means to sustain yourself it should be okay.

Let us know what happens.
 

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It's hard to say about the misdemeanor - especially with the recent rule changes on visas and all. But since you're going for a spouse visa, chances are it won't be that much of a deal-breaker. Of course, the farther back in time it was, the less weight it will carry. If it was last week, it may be a real topic of conversation.

Afraid I have no experience at all on timing for these things.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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I don't recall any part of the process that made any request for details of this type - neither in the interview, nor in the application form for either short or long-stay spouse visa.

I suppose it's not impossible that the French authorities have some sort of behind-the-scenes checking procedure, but if criminality is relevant I would have thought that it would be simple enough for them to add a declaration on the subject of previous convictions to the application form.
 

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Similar concern here

Hi,

I'm supposed to be going to France in December for six months on a long stay visa. It's for my work, but my pay comes from a U.S. organization so there's no need for a work permit. They had no problem with that at the consulate at Houston.

But I have a class C misdemeanor on my arrest record. They made me supply a police "clearance letter," and I just found out this was on it. It was for criminal trespass 19 years ago, and I completely forgot about it. It was never tried, went through pre-trial diversion, then was dismissed, but I never got the arrest record expunged.

I'm hoping this is insignificant to the consulate as it seemed to me, but I'm worried now.
 
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Is this another case of an 'ad hoc' approach by French consulates around the world - ie apply the rules as they see fit, irrespective of the guidelines - or was there anything specifically in the documentation you received from the Houston consulate (or that was detailed on their website) stating that a police clearance letter was required?

I also wonder if different requirements with respect to police clearance apply to different types of visas, although that would seem rather odd.
 

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Standard for U.S. applicants

All the French consulates in the U.S. ask for letters from the local police department saying you're in good standing, something like that. My police department (Austin, Texas) issues a standard thing called a "clearance letter." A lot of others do as well. It lists all arrests in the jurisdiction, and MAYBE the disposition of the case. I think I have to go to the police department on Monday to make sure the disposition of mine is listed. If it's there I should be fine. If not, I still may be fine. It was a dumb little trespassing incident almost two decades ago. But still, it would be nice to have everything in my file say I'm perfect and clear.

Is this another case of an 'ad hoc' approach by French consulates around the world - ie apply the rules as they see fit, irrespective of the guidelines - or was there anything specifically in the documentation you received from the Houston consulate (or that was detailed on their website) stating that a police clearance letter was required?

I also wonder if different requirements with respect to police clearance apply to different types of visas, although that would seem rather odd.
 

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As with most things administrative for France, there may be local differences in the details of what documents are requested. One big thing when dealing with the US is the administrative structure when it comes to things like police records. A local police record is easily obtained, whereas getting an FBI "rap sheet" (as required when, for example, you want to take French nationality) is a Major Big Deal, involving being fingerprinted and paying a fee.

It could also be related to the type of work someone is going to France to do. Or the legal principle of "just cause." (I.e. "just 'cause" the fonctionnaire felt like asking for it that day...)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. I appreciate the access to this pool of collected experience. I've got my interview on Tuesday and I have the paperwork in order. I speak French pretty well and I'm doing some Rosetta stone to work more my language skills. My next question is this...if they don't ask, would it be a good idea to tell them about this recent misdemeanor? I want to be up front about this. I want to know how it will affect my visa. None of the paperwork for a spousal long-term visa mentions anything about any criminal charges so I doubt they're going to want a police report, at least from me. Would it be a good idea to go in with one anyone? How may they react to extra paperwork? Thanks a lot.

Blessings,

Texas
 
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Surely if they don't ask for it, you're not hiding anything. But cbf09 suggested all consulates needed a police clearance letter? Perhaps it doesn't apply to the spouse visa. In any case, I personally wouldn't offer anything I wasn't specifically asked for.

In Thailand my wife actually turned up at her interview with all manner of extra documents, and the official concerned was a little annoyed. The prior instructions given to her were not only to bring just the paperwork that was necessary, but to make sure that it was in the right order!
 

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Thanks for all the feedback. I appreciate the access to this pool of collected experience. I've got my interview on Tuesday and I have the paperwork in order. I speak French pretty well and I'm doing some Rosetta stone to work more my language skills. My next question is this...if they don't ask, would it be a good idea to tell them about this recent misdemeanor? I want to be up front about this. I want to know how it will affect my visa. None of the paperwork for a spousal long-term visa mentions anything about any criminal charges so I doubt they're going to want a police report, at least from me. Would it be a good idea to go in with one anyone? How may they react to extra paperwork? Thanks a lot.

Blessings,

Texas
Don't bring anything extra with you (or if you do, keep it in a separate folder that you don't take out unless asked for something that wasn't in the original folder). And don't volunteer anything about it unless asked. If asked, answer truthfully, express your regrets and then move on to the next question.

If you're going over on a spousal visa, it may come up when you go for French nationality (if you do so) - but only if it shows up on the FBI rap sheet you need to get for nationality. That is, however, a good 4 or 5 years out there.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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